Tag Archives: Grand Coulee Dam

You might fish for salmon here someday, not just silvers

Between a renewed push for re-introducing salmon to the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam and a newly developing technology, a consortium of tribes is hopeful that somehow, there will be a way to bring salmon back.

The icon of the Pacific Northwest has been gone from the upper reaches of the Columbia since the building of Grand Coulee Dam. Now they’re actually stopped at Chief Joseph Dam, more than 50 miles downriver.

But a treaty may open for negotiations between the United States and Canada that dictates exchanges of water and electricity and infrastructure provided. And the Upper Columbia United Tribes is hopeful, along with the Colville Confederated Tribes, that a way for cheap transport may have been discovered by company touting its “salmon canon.” Picture a kinder, gentler form of the same kind of suction tube that takes your deposit at a drive-up bank.

Whooshh Innovations, of Bellevue, Washington, has more information about adapting their fruit moving technology, to help solve the problem of letting fish move upstream. Below is a video that demonstrates the innovation. The company has lots more on its website, which was even recently featured in a segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Although a way may be found to move salmon upstream over huge dams, that may actually be the easier part of the problem to solve. After hatching, the young salmon have to get back to the ocean. They only swim upstream, so they have to be pushed by a considerable current, which is not present in Lake Roosevelt above Grand Coulee Dam.

But the salmon canon idea is still fun to watch:

 

Image of a chinook salmon by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used under Creative Commons license.

People are amazed, and here’s a video to show why

People are constantly amazed by the size of the dam and the achievement of building it.
People are constantly amazed by the size of the dam and the achievement of building it.

Visitors using Instagram are always posting how amazed they are when they see Grand Coulee Dam.

“It amazes me how humans built this large, amazing structure more than 80 years ago!” wrote @lishlo this morning in a public post.

The Bureau of Reclamation has produced a top quality documentary on the building of Grand Coulee Dam to show you the amazing story behind the immense effort, the big thinking, innovation and, yes, even politics it took. If you want to visit it, you’ll appreciate it even more if you understand the whole story, so we’ll post the video here, which you can also watch on a big screen in comfortable seats at the Visitor Center when you get here.

Take a look at our new print Visitors Guide

This site augments and updates our once-a-year Grand Coulee Dam Visitors’ Guide, which you can see on your computer or smartphone on this site.
It’s always online here. And you can always find it in the column at left under “Flip through the print Visitors’ Guide.

Visitors' Guide Cover 14

July 4th celebration plans inside

It may not be a patriotic duty, but it certainly is a patriotic privilege to attend the Festival of America this Friday and Saturday, July 4-5, 2014, at the park below the Visitor Center.
For the complete schedule, see The Star’s Festival of America special section below. Or pick one up at any store or the Chamber of Commerce’s booth in the park.
There’s a little bit of everything for everyone and a whole lot of fun for the lot, in the two-day celebration.
The festival offers free music, food, a craft fair, a new laser light show and on Friday night, fireworks over Grand Coulee Dam.
The craft and food fair kicks off each day from 11 a.m. and continues to 9:45 p.m.
Free, live music on both days starting at 5 p.m. and going until 9:30 p.m.
Fireworks will light up the sky over Grand Coulee Dam at 10:30 on July 4.

Lake will be coming up over 4th of July weekend

With a little less than 1.4 million gallons per second flowing out of Lake Roosevelt and down the Columbia River Tuesday morning, about 75,000 gallons per second were spilling over the top.
With a little less than 1.4 million gallons per second flowing out of Lake Roosevelt and down the Columbia River July 1, about 75,000 gallons per second were spilling over the top.

With Lake Roosevelt about 4 feet from being full, the Bureau of Reclamation expects the lake to rise starting July 3 by up to a half foot each day through the weekend.

Filling the lake lifts accumulated debris off the shores and into the water where it can be dangerous to boaters.

The Bureau of Reclamation is advising people camping along the Lake Roosevelt shoreline over the July 4 weekend to be aware of potential dangers that could exist due to rapidly rising lake levels.

“When camping along the shoreline, it is recommended that tents and other belongings be kept well away from the water’s edge,” said Public Affairs Officer Lynne Brougher. “Although the lake is a popular vacation spot, it is also a working reservoir that supplies water for hydroelectric facilities at Grand Coulee Dam which can result in rapid fluctuations.”

Brougher says campsites that are too close to the water’s edge could potentially become flooded and boats that are not properly anchored or secured could drift out into the lake and become a safety hazard.

Reclamation must adhere to the court-ordered 2008/2010 FCRPS Biological Opinion requiring the lake to be at the full pool elevation of 1,290 feet above sea level between late June and early July. It was at 1,286 feet above sea level Tuesday evening.